That example strikes me as exactly the kind of “thinking in mechanics” that is—for me—antithetical to role-playing games. It’s interesting, though, in that HeroQuest seems to be fairly different than more traditional role-playing games. Yet, I think I dislike “thinking in mechanics” here even more.
Now, it is an example designed to clarify the games mechanics. So, I’d hesitate to extend this observation into a criticism of HeroQuest.